Dana White has said that Cat Zingano remains the number one contender to Ronda Rousey's title but may have to take another fight before she gets her shot.
Zingano beat Miesha Tate 13 months ago at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, a win that was supposed to see her go against Rousey as a coach TUF 18 and give her a title fight at UFC 168, however that wasn't to be.
An ACL injury required extensive surgery and recovery time and while she was out, she lost her husband to an apparent suicide. Despite prolonged inactivity, her name has remained at the top contender spot of the UFC rankings for the Women's Bantamweight division, despite Tate and now Alexis Davis leapfrogging her in title shots.
White admitted at a pre-UFC 173 media scrum that he's happy that Zingano feels "decent" enough to return but that he expects her to fight before getting her shot.
"I wouldn't say good but at least in a place where she can get back in the gym and start thinking about fighting again," White confirmed.
"She is No. 1. She'll probably have to take another fight before that. She'll probably have to take a fight. She's got to make some money. She's got to get back and let people see her again."
Most people currently expect Rousey to retain her title over Davis when they clash at UFC 175 in July, but that would leave the division fairly cleaned out in terms of talent who could face her - especially if Zingano is expected to take another fight.
Rumours of bringing Gina Carano back into MMA have been growing over the past couple months and a recent tweet of Carano's revealed that she was back in training, adding more fuel to the growing fire.
However, the more burning question on fan's lips after this news is just who will Zingano face?
A fight against Carano would bring her the attention she needs in order to sell the Rousey fight and would also be good for Carano to win, as she'd have defeated the number one ranked contender.
She could be 'fed' one of the weaker opponents in the top 10, the likes of Liz Carmouche or Jessica Andrade in order to re-establish herself amongst the division against a tougher opponent that just an unranked fighter.
Either way, it's unlikely that we'll get any further developments until we see that Rousey-Davis clash, but the UFC will be itching for someone to dethrone Rousey soon, before she leaves for Hollywood and lowers the credibility of the division.
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